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Old Dell laptop needs AV/FW


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#1 ChrisMN

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Posted 26 September 2009 - 11:06 PM

Hey there, I have been working on my old Dell Latitude CP 233ST(laptop) PC - Manufactured in 1998, and finally got it working with my internet but I am certain there is no AV protection of firewall and would like to have it protected before I let wife use it online.

First off, here are the system stats:

Windows ME(but it's Designed for Windows 95/NT) although ME seems to work just fine(maybe a lil' slower)
Pentium 233MHz/ MMX Processor
System Memory: 32.0 MB(Yeah, its oooold)
Video Memory: 2 MB
External Cache: 512 KB
and a 3.5 GB hard drive. (WAY old)


I downloaded Spyware Blaster and it works fine, but we all know that SpywareBlaster isn't a AV or FW so I have checked on here and on CNET Downloads for FREE, light and WinME compatible.

I tried Avast AntiVirus(as it says it works w/ Windows ME) and it just takes up ALL resources. Avast splash menu took about 3 hours to load up and then took me to the dashboard which was completely unresponsive.

I know MBAM doesn't work with WinME and SuperAntiSpyware will not install due to "Windows Installer" our of date on WinME.

My question is: Is there any free security programs that are *somewhat* effective and will work with Windows ME and are extremely light on system? Keep in mind, its only got 32 MB of RAM!

Also, does StartUp Lite(From Malwarebytes) work on Windows ME?


Thanks

Edited by ChrisMN, 26 September 2009 - 11:32 PM.


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#2 tos226

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Posted 27 September 2009 - 10:50 PM

32meg really or 320?

Kerio 2.1.5 is the smallest firewall I know of. Runs in 5meg. But make sure to setup your rules really well.
Read one of the nicest tutorials I know of over at Wilders - see section "Customizing Firewall Rules"
here: http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=24415
It's general enough and while written I think for Norton will serve you well.

I don't know if it runs in ME, but it might because it's very old and very, very good.

Antivirus: I don't think any of them run under 35-40meg. So you'll have a very safe and useless machine when you put AV in. If you get one, make sure it's really good, then you might not need antispyware.

SpywareBlaster protects you from malicious ActiveX installations and runs, and takes up zero resources, because it doesn't run in the background at all.

ME might not be as vulnerable as XP with all its services running on open ports, but I'm not sure. I know 98 is safer.

I hope somebody can give you AV advice here.

#3 ChrisMN

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Posted 27 September 2009 - 11:12 PM

Ok thanks tos 226 Ill check that out.

Yes, when I check in system properties it says "SYSTEM MEMORY: 32.0 Mb" Is this possible? Or is it telling me wrong info?

Any advice on where to get Kerio 2.1.5?

More input from more users / admin would be well appreciated.

Thank you in advance.

#4 tos226

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 12:36 PM

Here: http://www.321download.com/LastFreeware/files/keriopf215.zip

#5 ChrisMN

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Posted 01 October 2009 - 02:40 AM

Ok, Kerio is working great and it is quite light on system.

Anyone out ther know of any light freeware for anti-virus and spyware?

Thanks to all

(PS: also, I have been told (from someone here at BC) to go to something called "thepiratebay.org" and download something called a "torrent" for Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and then MBAM lets you have the *FULL* version for free. Is this true? or is it piracy? Whats a torrent? Whats a keygen? Are they safe and legal?)

Edited by ChrisMN, 01 October 2009 - 02:43 AM.


#6 tos226

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Posted 01 October 2009 - 06:52 PM

OMG, stay away from this torrent business. Unless you're in need of few good rootkits, viruses, trojans or other illegal stuff.
I doubt you need malwarebytes, but if you do, go to their own site. Likewise for Superantispyware. USE MANUFACTURER's SITE ALWAYS unless they vanished, and legit sites such as oldversion or the download site can be used.

Good to hear Kerio's working for you. Make sure to tighthen it up a bit. Default rules in ALL firewalls are a bit too loose.

Clamwin is an AV, not a great one, but I once heard is small.

#7 Stang777

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Posted 02 October 2009 - 05:13 AM

ClamWin Free Antivirus does not include an on-access real-time scanner. If you use that, you need to manually scan a file in order for it to detect viruses or spyware. I think Norton still has a version that is compatible with ME, however, Norton has been known to be a heavy resource user.

I second what Tos said about torrents, stay away from them. Using them is just inviting viruses and such to come party on your computer, especially if you do not have a good realtime antivirus program.

32 meg of ram is the minimum amount of ram required to run ME, with 64 meg recommended for most things. If you are having any problems running applications, you might want to try to get more ram. It should not cost much.

#8 ChrisMN

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Posted 02 October 2009 - 08:10 PM

Ok, thanks stang. Clam Win seems to be working so far.

Is ClamWin supposed to take 6 + hours for the scan? Its taking forever and not showing any progress meter, or files scanned, etc. Just shows a graphic of files being scanned and says "Scanning" It just really doesn't seem to be doing anything.

Edited by ChrisMN, 02 October 2009 - 10:30 PM.


#9 ChrisMN

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Posted 05 October 2009 - 08:59 PM

ClamWin still scanning system. Almost three days now its been scanning. It has found only one infected file (c:\_RESTORE\ARCHIVE\FS26.CAB: [-]). I don't want to cancel the scanning since this infection cleansing will be canceled as well.

What should I do?

Thanks

Chris

#10 ChrisMN

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Posted 05 October 2009 - 09:25 PM

So......... your saying to use Microsoft Update? Ok..

#11 Stang777

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Posted 06 October 2009 - 01:36 AM

You are welcome but wow, that is a long time to scan a computer. I thought my ZoneAlarm, which takes an hour or hour and a half to complete a full scan, was slow.

I do not see where anyone mentioned using Microsoft updates here, but most people say they should be used. However, I doubt there have been any put out for ME for a very long time. Personally, I stay away from the updates even though people say that isn't smart and can put me at risk.

#12 ChrisMN

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Posted 06 October 2009 - 03:33 AM

some new member posted nothing but a link for microsoft update and now the member is extinct... so i guess the post disappeared.

#13 ChrisMN

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Posted 06 October 2009 - 02:42 PM

ClamWin is still scanning my other computer. I've noticed that it's spending about 25 to 30 minutes analyzing each and every file so I beleive that at this point, it would take over a year to complete the scan since it's been like 4 days and it's only scanned around 5% of my hard drive(estimated). Again, it only has a 3.5Gb hard drive so it shouldn't take so long.

I will let it continue for another day and see what happens, but I need to gain access to my laptop and cannot use it when it's scanning.

Is there any way I can hook up my old laptop to my newer(fast) PC via USB(I have the correct cord) and scan my laptop using the security suite on my new PC?

Thanks

Edited by ChrisMN, 06 October 2009 - 02:44 PM.


#14 Papakid

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Posted 07 October 2009 - 11:16 AM

There probably is a way to hook up the laptop to a newer PC and then scan the drive, but I have no experience with that so someone else will have to help you with it. But with 32 MB of RAM you might want to rethink what you are wanting to do with the laptop. Both running an on access part of an AV and the on demand scan is going to be too resource intensive for that amount of RAM. In fact the On Access should be less so, but as you've discovered, there are no longer any freeware AV's, except Avast, compatible with ME anymore. On the bright side, very little malware is compatible with ME now either or also so resource intensive that it just won't be able to run. For example, root kits won't run on the FAT32 file system--the malware that they hide might, but not the rootkits.

But the way Flash is used on so many websites now, I think you will have problems even surfing the web. If that is what you really want to do you really need to look into getting more RAM. Even tho there are fewer threats to ME out there now, they aren't eliminated altogether so it isn't advisable to go surfing around on the internet without the protection of an on access scanner. While it is true that RAM is fairly cheap now, that is for modern hardware; unfortunately older technology RAM could be expensive and hard to find. You can go to Crucial's site and let it scan your system--if it can find what is compatible with your system it will show you and if they have any RAM that you can use.
http://www.crucial.com/

However, I tried to look up your system, but CP 233ST isn't listed. If no joy at Crucial, you can try Kingston and Corsair websites--I believe they also have online apps to find out what kind of RAM you might need and if they have any.

An alternative is to keep the laptop off the internet. You have very little to no risk of infection if you are not connected to the web, and thus no need for AV scanners that you don't have the resources to run. It would make a fairly nice word processor or perhaps a photo album.

Another alternative, which is least desirable in my opinion, is to periodically check your system with small apps focused on startups, such as HijackThis and AutoRuns. Malware has to set itself to autostart, else it would always be terminated when you reboot your system. That's it weakness--malicious files can be present on your system but won't harm you if they aren't running. The big drawback to this, and why I don't recommend it, is you must have a large amount of knowledge about startups and the registry, along with the tricks malware uses to make it hard to determine what is and isn't malicious, else you could cause more problems than you solve. To see what's involved with this--and be sure to read the disclaimer carefully--see BC's tutorial on HijackThis: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/how-to-use-hijackthis/

If you want, I can look at your HijackThis log for you--if you want to clean up what is on there now and then not use the internet til you get RAM/Protection. The one file that ClamWin found is in ME's System Restore and is probably an inactive leftover from a previous infection that has been there for ages. To get rid of it, you can disable System Restore which will delete all restore points--re-enabling will create a new clean one. Instructions are here:
Managing Windows Millenium System Restore.
I don't normally recommend doing this until after your system has been cleaned. The rule of thumb is that an infected Restore Point is better than none if malware removal goes bad. But considering your system specs, you might want to disable it and leave it disabled. Your system was designed to run Windows 95, which doesn't have a System Restore (SR). SR requires a fair chunk of hard drive real estate that 95 didn't need so your small hard drive capacity could also be a problem. If your hard drive is low on free space it could well explain why the scan is taking so long--scanners use temp folders to extract compressed files, create quarantined areas and so on. So if you want to tinker around with this old system with ME, fix problems without using System Restore until you get a larger hard drive. If you had XP, you could reduce the space SR uses, but I don't think you can do that with ME.

To find out how much of your hard drive is being used, go to My Compter, right click on the hard drive icon and select properties. Let me know how much is being used and if you want me to look at your HJT log.

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Is in the hands of fools

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#15 ChrisMN

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Posted 07 October 2009 - 02:25 PM

Hi

Thanks Papakid for the info. Very informative. I will correct myself on the model, it's a Dell Latitude M233ST. And I have previously discovered that it uses EDO SODIMM type of memory and has two ports, I have looked inside the laptop and it is occupying ONE of the TWO memory ports with the 32Mb SODIMM.

The model has a maximum memory capacity of 128Mb

I have oredered two 64Mb EDO SODIMM that are compatible with the system(According to memorystock.com).

Thanks again.

Edited by ChrisMN, 07 October 2009 - 02:26 PM.





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